tv Martin Bashir MSNBC October 1, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
a make or break week for mitt, and this is his sendoff? >> lowering the tax rates. does that cost $5 trillion? >> no, no. look, i won't get into a baseline argument with you. >> i think my biggest concern obviously would just be for the -- his mental well-being. >> you haven't given me the math. >> well, i don't have the time -- it would take me too long to go through all of the math. >> too long. good lord. on the eve of the first debate, team romney flubs their lines. >> have you got lines already prepared, attack lines? >> i'm not really a line guy. overseas which is where you and i come from means lake superior. where i come from overseas we refer to lake superior. overseas, which as a wisconsinite means lake superior -- >> i'm not familiar with precisely with what exactly i said but i stand by what i said whatever it is. ♪ how you like me now ♪ how you like me now
we begin with the hunt to win october and in particular the next five days that could prove decisive in this presidential campaign. indeed, after a cruel summer that extended well into september, mitt romney is now in the air on his way to denver. more desperate than ever to shake the etch-a-sketch and restart his campaign with a must-win debate on wednesday. much is at stake with the latest battleground polls showing romney losing by 11 points to the president. with the first face-off looming on the horizon, romney finds himself saddled this monday with fresh doubts placed in his mind by the only two people he's ever proposed to, starting with paul ryan. >> first of all, 47% mitt acknowledges himself that was an inarticulate way of describing how we're worried in that stagnant obama economy more people are becoming dependent on
economy. >> what could be better for the emotional stability of a presidential candidate than your running mate calling you inarticulate? never mind. paul ryan is the one key numbers guy. so let's hear him explain the tax policy. >> the cut in tax rates is lower -- all american tax rates -- >> how much does it cost? >> it's revenue neutral. >> it's not revenue neutral unless you take away the deductions. the first half, lowering the tax rates. does that cost $5 trillion? >> no, no. look, i won't get into a baseline argument with you. >> you haven't given me the math. >> well, i don't have the time -- it would take me too long to go through all the math. >> all right. you know what, mitt? you better put paul ryan away somewhere. send him to a sports bar somewhere in ohio. at least he can have a few beers with voters. he's got that going for him. who knows, it might help make inroads with that 9% deficit romney is facing against the president in the latest ohio poll. then again, there may not be enough time to do enough shots
with enough intoxicated fans before voting starts in ohio tomorrow. so if his running mate is no use, how about a boost from the other person mitt's proposed to, his wife, ann. surely she can provide the comfort and confidence that mr. romney needs to fire up his bid for the presidency. >> my biggest concern obviously would just be for the -- his mental well-being. >> wait? what? mrs. romney, that's not helping. you better finish the thought. >> i have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy, in his understanding of what's missing right now in the economy, you know, the pieces that are missing to get this jump started. so for me i think it would be the emotional part of it. >> right. he's capable, decisive, and emotionally troubled? well, that is an october surprise. let's get right to our panel this afternoon. with us from washington, msnbc
political analyst karen finney, who is a democratic strategist. also julian epstein, who is a democratic strategist, and here in new york msnbc political analyst professor michael eric dyson. professor dyson, mitt romney's wife says she's concerned about his mental health. paul ryan says he's inarticulate. if he can't think straight and he can't speak properly, is mitt romney george bush in disguise? >> i'll tell what you. i want to give you the baseline, i don't have time to give you the numbers. look, obviously this is a campaign that has gone awry. his great he is help mete, his wife, has revealed his greatest fault line. his own wife casting suspicion on the -- >> to be fair you have extrapolated somewhat. do you really think that that comment by his wife indicated a genuine anxiety she has for his
mental well-being? >> well perhaps, an unspoken one. i don't think that obviously when she said mental well-being, i think she's talking about the emotional. the toughness it takes to stand in office. i'm not suggesting he somehow has borderline personality. i'm suggesting that the border states however are coming into view here and that the swing states certainly are up for grabs because mitt romney has squandered a serious purchase on his right wing constituency, gotten through paul ryan, and now i think his wife is saying the kind of mental toughness that obama has displayed may be elusive for him. paul ryan, on the other hand, is trying to say inarticulate? i don't think mitt romney said he was inarticulate -- >> he said he was being inelegant. that's different than inarticulate. >> despite his mental fragility, romney is going to be prepared. "the new york times," romney's team has clon cluded that debates are about creating
moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memoried and have been practicing on aides since august. those lucky aides. >> here how governor perry was trying to have a moment and he couldn't remember the three agencies that he wanted to cut? i mean, the thing about trying to practice, you know, certain words and phrases that you intend to say is, a, making sure that you use them or deploy them at the right moment, and then, b, making sure you actually remember the whole thing and that the delivery is right. i think a far better strategy, i don't know, would be to be honest and know the facts and try -- >> don't be ridiculous, karen. you know this whole campaign has had nothing to do with that. that's an unreasonable and ridiculous thing to say, karen. if you have nothing more sensible to contribute, i will move to julian. speaking of zingers, donald trump advises on twitter, in debate mitt romney should ask obama why auto by fri states born in kenya, raised in
indonesia. i think that's a great idea, don't you? he's already got his birther joke handy. why not go straight for the birthers. >> his facts are as accurate as the republican facts have been. that was never said in obama's autobiography. it was a silly thing that a publicity agent had made years before. but just to pick up on karen's point for a second, i think she's onto something. you don't come to a gun fight with a butter knife. that's effectively what romney is doing. debates are about, guess what, debates. that means you come with facts and ideas. and it's hard for me to understand what exactly romney is coming to this debate with. >> 20% across the board tax cut. >> right. which has to mean a tax increase for the middle class. it's the only way to pay for it if you want it to be revenue neutral. he can't make the argument about the economy because as we've said, he'll try to make the argument that obama has been an
infective steward. we're now protected to be a positive three. that's a 12% positive swing since he came in as president. and it's just hard to see where romney goes on the economy because obama has got a good answer. he can't go anywhere on taxes because his proposal has got to mean a middle income -- middle class tax increase. he can't go anywhere on medicare because they're losing the argument badly, particularly in ohio and florida on medicare. that's a big reason why the numbers have flipped in those two states because seniors have moved over to the obama -- >> karen? >> i was going to say the other thing, to julian's point, it's a debate which means unlike the debates that mitt romney did earlier this year where you have maybe 30 seconds to get in an answer and you don't necessarily get to answer every time, it's just him and president obama sitting there with a moderator. so he should be prepared for the fact that there is a possibility of a follow-up question that says, okay, how are you going to do that? yes, let's take the time for you to walk us through it.
that being said, look, he's going to get a certain amount of gravitas just sitting there on the stage with the president. whether or not he blows that with trying to use cute words and phrases -- >> zingers? >> i think as karen and julian have suggested those zingers are not going to work. you have to have a sense of timing and rhythm p.. c he doesn't have no timing. it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing. the zings won't make a difference. the contrast between obama and romney will show up even more seriously the lack of gravitas. i think it's the lack of substance and seriousness that he has. an automaton can present a kind of face of the machine but it can't get to the heart of the matter and what america is looking for is the heart and the emotional wherewithal that his wife spoke of that may be missing in mitt romney at this critical moment.
>> allidoesn't the president fa potential hazard himself because he must have seen the absence of policy, the lack of detail that all of us have been complaining about for months. his friends at fox news have been klaining abocomplaining abf detail. only yesterday in the interviews conducted by chris wallace, do you not think the president faces a danger he could display a level of impatience. >> it's like playing tennis against somebody who doesn't have much to play with on the other side. i think the president has on his side the facts and, you know, the public is now starting to believe on the right track/wrong track, the public is starting to move into obama's camp. there are ricks for obama clearly, but i think romney has got to have a huge, huge night, and obama would have to have a terrible night to actually move
the needle. i don't think that's likely to happen. let's leave all these expectations game aside. let me pick up on one last point on the ryan thing. ryan saying the 47% was inarticulate, whatever the word was he used, that's the pot calling the kettle black. ryan has probably hurt the ticket much more so than the 47%. if you look at two states, florida and ohio, they were extremely close when ryan was picked as the nominee. now obama has considerable leads. you look at the reason why and seniors have gone from being in the romney camp into the obama camp and almost the entire explanation for that is that they do not like the ryan plan on medicare. so ryan has demonstrably hurt this ticket, turt it very badly in the swing states and particularly with seniors. >> congratulations to paul ryan. karen, julian, michael eric dyson who is off to see jay-z later, thank you all. is the media really biased
against mitt or is he simply a flawed candidate? >> i love this state. it seems right here, the trees are the right height. ♪ above the fruited plain i like cars. i don't like vampires. new prilosec otc wildberry is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
we have a no whine rule in boston about coverage in the media. we deal with the facts. >> funny you should say that, mr. gillespie, because your vice presidential candidate, paul ryan, did not get to seem that memo about media bias. here he is on that exact same network four days later. >> i think it goes without
saying there is definitely a media bias. i think most people in mainstream media are left of center and they want a very left of center president versus a conservative president like mitt romney. >> yes, some republicans want to pin team romney's troubles on anything other than their inept campaign built around two deeply flawed candidates. however, i should point out that cannot be said of all conservatives. >> there's been a lot of filtering going on. i'm not going to gan mr. coverage in a campaign. if you do that, you're losing. >> joining us in los angeles, matt miller, a "washington post" columnist and dr. james peterson, an associate professor at lehigh university and a grio.com contributor. ryan has been calling conservatives in the media, quote, after weeks of mounting criticism, ryan reportedly felt compelled to respond in a friendly way to the beltway
buzz. are conservatives now also part of the conspiracy, sir? >> well, first of all, i mean he's trying to stop the bleeding. remember, he's a darling of these sort of conservative media figures, and so it makes good political sense for him to reach out this them directly. martin, i can no longer stomach this discussion about a left bias media because if we look at the political history of this country over the last 20 to 30 years, it is so clear that this country has been moving to the right in so the many different ways. you think about the war on womewomen and a host of other issues, economic, social, and otherwise. this country has been moving to the right, media and everything, for most of my lifetime. so the idea that there's some kind of left wing media bias is a simple strawman move that folk on the right continue to use to try to move the country to the right. >> dr. peterson, paul ryan says there's media bias against republicans and that all journalists, or the majority of journalists in the mainstream media, are carrying water for
the democrats and for this president. >> it's simply not true, martin. you know people on the left. you know that a lot of the issues that the left has and folk that consider themselves true progressives, folks that were members of the green party, those things are not being covered at all in the media. the media is fairly centrist except for fox news. at the end of the day what they're doing here is they try to get this rhetoric out here as the country being left or left of center as a way to move to the right in the cover of night. i can't take it anymore. it's not the facts. look at any political issue, this country has been moving to the right. >> matt, i want to show you a video of paul ryan at a connecticut fund-raiser sunday in the 55,000 square foot home of one of his supporter's. >> the president is not playing fair and we're not expecting the media to tell our story. that means we have to do it ourselves, and that means we have to rely on the generosity of our fellow citizens who want
to get this country back on the right track. >> matt, isn't that really what they mean by this media bias charge? it's really a rallying cry to raise lots of money, isn't it? >> i think that's right. i mean, look, it's not going well for them right now. they're obviously going to want to blame the referees, so to speak, and i think ryan had one point that's fair. my guess is that at least from my experience in the national media, most folks in national media organizations, probably vote democratic, but the key thing that determines national media coverage is not ideology, it's more like stenography, and i think the national press faithfully reports the mainstream positions of the republican party and the democratic party and places them into some kind of clash. so i don't think they're having any trouble getting their message out. i think the problem is voters aren't responding to that message and that's why you got paul ryan on the phone to his buddies in the conservative press trying to save his reputation from being on a ship that looks like it's sinking.
you can be sure he's sitting there saying, hey, off the record, i'm not, you know -- i'm not the one shaping this strategy. i'd be doing "x," "y," and "z." he's looking out for himself. >> but this is a bit rich as a charge since every die myself and our protection team wake up and look forward to some policy conte content, some loopholes they're going to close to make the fiscal changes they claim their economic plan will result in, and what do we get every day but zero. we would report on the facts if we had some. there aren't any. >> as would other networks. the idea or the ak significance that there's this media bias is something folk on the right have been at for a long time now. i'm a little bit fed up with it because when you look at the sort of political spectrum of this country and you look at the issues that don't get covered, the media is very centrist in its coverage. it's certainly not to the left. if anything certain networks skew to the right in terms of what they cover. but you're also right here,
martin, which is give us some substantial and we'll cover it. you can complain about the refs all you want, whether they're the replacement refs or the actual refs, they call the game as they see it. the media is calling the game as they see it. there isn't enough substance in that campaign to make the case to the american people. >> thank you so much, gentlemen. next, republicans say they want to get rid of voters fraud. then commit it? the investigation intensifies. stay with us. >> we're going to win this race, given that, we're going to win this race. >> but you're not at this point. >> we can debate polls. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it! now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla? this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake!
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last week the rnc severed all ties to him because the company was allegedly falsifying registrations on behalf of mitt romney. michael isikoff has been following this story and he joins us live from washington. mike, can you explain why the rnc would appoint this man's company when there were already allegations against him dating back to 2004? >> right. there certainly had been quite a bit of controversy around mr. stroul in the past. he had been accused of voter possession, throwing away democratic registration forms. there are more recently allegations relating to an electoral scheme in arizona to allegedly violate election laws by running an independent expenditure campaign on behalf of an attorney general candidate there. i should point out that there have been no charges filed against mr. sproul or any of his companies, but they were concerned enough so that when sproul got hired in just this
past june, he acknowledges that he set up a separate company under this name, strategic allied consulting, so that it wouldn't trace back to the other names that he's operated under, lincoln strategy group is the main one, and so it was clear that they were concerned, both he and the rnc, and he says, sproul told me that he did this at the request of the rnc. so there was clearly concern on both parties' part that some of these past controversies would get some attention if it was known that he was conducting this very major nationwide battleground registration effort on behalf of the rnc. >> because the rnc spends something like $3 million, they were operating in seven swing states. how wide do you expect this investigation to go? i mean, do you think this man has been operating right across the country in this way?
>> well, he certainly has been operating across the country, but as of now we know of nine or ten counties in florida that have reported irregularities in the registration forms that were submitted by employees of strategic allied consulting mainly in palm beach is the first one to raise these complaints. they found similar signatures on multiple registration forms. they found registration forms that linked the home address of a shell gas station, a land rover dealership, all of which has now been reported to both the state attorney and as of late last week, as of today actually, the florida department of law enforcement has begun a statewide inquiry into the registration activities of this firm. >> and i'm sure the irony of this with republicans condemning voter fraud is not lost on any of us. nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. thanks, mike. >> thank you, martin.
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awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? from a dearth of detail to a mental health check. here are today's "top lines." i was told there would be no math. >> you and romney are trailing in the polls, especially in the key swing states. >> first of all, the polls are close. >> but you are trailing. >> we're running against an incumbent president. >> why are you and romney losing it. >> >> we're going to win this race. >> but you're not at this point. >> we can debate polls. not everybody knows all the specifics we put out there. >> how much would it cost? >> it's revenue neutral. >> not unless you take away the deductions. >> that's what i'm asking you. you haven't given me the math. >> it would take me to go through the math. 47% is an inarctticulate way wa of describing it. i'm more of a gut guy.
i believe in what i believe. i do what i do. >> are we going to get those details in the course of the debate? >> i wish you guys would just do stuff on the president. >> mitt romney doesn't have a deficit plan. he's got a plan to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires. >> he's not an accountant. not going to go line by line as much as you'd like him to do. >> if they want to repeal obama care, we better hold the senate. >> she had a confidence and was much more lady like. >> do you think he should have the support of the republican party? >> no. >> governor romney is a good debater. >> i don't think anyone would suggest the debates aren't important. >> i don't think one event is going it make or break this campaign. >> come thursday morning the entire narrative of this race is going to change. >> this is mitt's first time on this stage. >> president has to avoid being irritable. >> mitt romney has to describe his vision. >> who is going to have the best zingers. >> i don't think what's going to happen? >> a whole month to vote. >> my biggest concern obviously would just be for his mental well-being. i have all the confidence in the
world of his ability. for me it would be the emotional part of it. >> let's get right to our panel. we're joined by anna marie cox of "the guardian" and jonathan capehart of the "washington post." >> anna marie, mrs. romney has expressed concerns about her husband's mental well-being, but do you get the feeling that perhaps there's more to this than she's saying? >> well, martin, i actually think this is sort of one area where i'm hesitant to mock too much. >> i'm not asking to you mock. i'm asking to you serious question. i'm not asking you to mock. his wife has said and volunteered that her number one concern for her husband is his mental health and mental well-being. i'm asking you do you think that she knows things about him that provoke that kind of concern? >> well, i mean, i think she has seen him operate under very stressful conditions. to all appearances he seems to do well under stressful
conditions in the sense he has had a business career where, you know, he was dealing with lots of money and dealing with lots of different demands and he succeeded. so there's that. but, you know, campaign and politics are very different than business, which is what we've been saying all you a long. just because you succeed in business doesn't mean you can succeed in politics. and i think maybe perhaps what we could interpret from that statement is that she's seen him suffer a little bit under these conditions in a way perhaps that he wasn't before. this is a very different kind of marathon to run. no matter how fast paul ryan might run it, this is a very, very different kind of thing than running a business, and perhaps because of the difference, he's not doing as well as he thought he would and i know that he seems like the kind of guy who is really hard on himself. maybe she is concerned for him. >> jonathan, as this campaign has progressed, i have noticed that mr. romney has become increasingly impatient and testy, particularly when asked polite questions by the media. is it, therefore, fair it assume
that mr. romney does have difficulties when the pressure on him increases? because we've heard david axelrod describe presidential campaign as being anm mri for e soul. >> think about it, martin, if the roles were reversed and mitt romney were winning, he wouldn't be -- i should say winning in the polls, in the number of survey that is have come out over the last two weeks, he would have a sunnier disposition. he'd be in a better mood. of course he's going to be testy. of course he's going to be a little short and brusque with the media and with anybody who is questioning him about the state of his campaign, the state of his candidacy. so i don't fault him for being testy. i mean, if anything, what he should be thinking about and worried about is how is he going to turn this ship around in the 38, 37, 36 days that he has left to make his case to the american people. >> well, anna marie, chris christie says he can turn it around on wednesday night, and
he says we're going to wake up with a fresh sense of this candidate on thursday morning. what are your thoughts? >> well, i love chris christie for a lot of reasons. he's certainly the most irreverent republican governor we have and i think maybe -- i don't know if that was a line that came from the romney campaign or if that's his own evaluation. certainly a more optimistic statement than we've heard from the romney campaign itself. it might be wishful thinking. i know chris christie tends to root for the underdog like a lot of americans. i'm actually kind of hoping mitt will do well in the debates. i hate seeing people humiliate themselves. i'm hoping for at least a decent performance from mitt romney. whether or not it will turn things around, you know, i think people have been talking about it all day, debates tend to not completely reverse the course of things. they tend to either entrench a narrative or just make things kind of tighten up a little bit. i don't think we're going to see those polls turn upside down as chris christie said. >> anna marie, the romney campaign is distributing
leaflets promising the people of virginia that he will crack down on lyme disease. now, this is another example of the bold leadership they promise that they would take on the big issues. forget about explaining how their economic plan would work and what deductions and loopholes they'd close. there's a focus here on lyme disease. can you explain that? >> well, this is not the kind of small bore detail we were hoping for, is it, martin? and i guess we do know there's been some confusion in the romney campaign about what exactly constitutes a parasite. at least in this case they've gotten it exactly right. and they aren't talking about half of america and getting it wrong. you know, this is probably just a transparent attempt to appeal to sue sur ban women perhaps, some mothers who are dealing with deers and worried about their kids. i can't really fault him for the sort of -- the motivation behind this. lyme disease is a serious thing but we can kind of wonder about the state of a campaign that's going it choose this as an issue they want to take a stand on.
>> jonathan, research suggests not just lyme disease but also other disorders like west nile virus are spreading with help from the climate change. but i thought climate change was a myth? >> well, depending on which mitt romney you're talking to, he would or would not agree with your last statement. but, you know, to give specifics on lyme disease but not give specifics on exactly what he wants to do about climate change, exactly what he wants to do about the debt and deficits, exactly what -- how he's going to achieve this balanced budget and his tax reform and everything, it does seem a little small to focus on lyme disease. i mean, this takes microtargeting to a whole new level. i mean, who knew? >> anna marie, we read in politico today there's a rift within the romney camp about how much to push foreign policy issues. the story says, and i'm quoting, the truth is that romney now
finds himself besieged with conflicting advice. i guess that's not the best way to approach a debate, is it? >> no, but, of course, we know there's a rift within romney. you know, as jonathan sort of pointed out, he has conflicting views of himself within himself so it's not surprising his campaign would sort of reflect that. campaigns sort of reflect the character of the man at the top or the woman at the top, and it does sound like there is confusion. there's always confusion when the ship is sinking. people just don't know what to save first, and people don't know what to grab onto. and it's clear that mitt romney in his entire campaign is kind of looking for that magic answer. they've tried to hang onto the economy and foreign policy. they don't -- they're not able to hang onto anything except, of course, for this stereotype that he keeps reinforcing as the rich, out of touch guy. i think going into the debate, like that's his biggest hurdle is to not say anything else that really grounds that stereotype and grounds that image that the
american people have for him. >> so no mention of the 47%? anna marie cog and jonathan capehart, thank you, both. next, do the math, mr. ryan. please, just do the math. stay with us. >> lowering tax rates by broadening the tax base works, and you can -- >> but i have to -- >> let me -- >> you haven't given me the math. >> well, i don't have the time -- it would take me too lock to go through all of the math. that was me still taking insulin
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find your co-pay at myflexpen.com. they can't explain how you spend $5 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthy without raising tacks on middle class families. how do you spend $2 trillion on new military spending that our military hasn't asked for and cut our deficit? you can't do it. the math doesn't add up. >> mitt romney and paul ryan
seem to demonstrate why the united states is now ranked 25th in the world for mathematics. they both produced economic plans but neither appears to stand up to scrutiny. and this is particularly painful for paul ryan, who has described him as a policy wonk, a numbers guy, and a man who is always prepared to do the math. we're joined now by jared bernstein, former chief economic adviser to vice president joe biden and a man who eats numbers for breakfast. jared, we mention mr. ryan's problems with the math, so please take a listen. >> you're the master of the budget, so briefly lets go through the plan. >> i don't know exactly when it balances because we haven't -- i don't want to get wonky on you but we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan. >> you haven't given me the math. >> well, i don't have the time -- it would take me too long to go through all the math but -- >> paul ryan says he doesn't have the time to explain his budget but we do. so you tell us, does it add up? >> no, it doesn't. and the problem that he's having basically is that of two plus two doesn't equal five no matter
how much time you have. the issue here, and we've talked about this before, the nonpartisan tax policy center figured out the following. if you cut the tax rates on the top 1% by 20% as mitt romney has proposed and you close all of their loopholes to try to make up the difference, there's just not enough revenue in all of those loophole closures to pay for the cut in the tax rates. i think i just explained that in about 15 seconds. it's not that complicated. you just don't have the revenues in the loophole closures to pay for the cuts in the tax rates and paul ryan knows that. what he's doing here i find frankly quite nefarious which is to coop fuse the voting public. we need more clarity on these issues and we're getting a lot more confusion. >> jared, are you saying it's not a question of being incapable of explaining the mathematical e quition he appears to have stumbled on, it's more he's intentionally not telling us because if he did tell us, if he did tell us, for example, the deductions he might
choose to close, mortgage interest, employer health care, and so on, if he chose to tell us that, well, people would not vote for him. >> well, in a way it's a little worse than that because what the tax policy center found is that you can close every single loophole that benefit the top 1%, around you still won't have enough to offset the cost of their tax cuts. and then if you're really talking about not increasing the budget deficit, you're going to have to raise more revenue elsewhere, and that rebounds to the middle class. your point is well taken. once you start talking about how i'm going to pay for my tax cut by closing loopholes and you refuse to tell what loopholes those are, well, the mortgage interest deduction, the health care expenditure for employers, you know, state and local, medical, there's so many -- >> charitable contributions. there are plenty he can give us if he wants to, just tell us. >> so, you know, again, what i think bothers me so much about this is not that -- they have a
tax plan, but they're afraid to actually tell us how their tax plan would work because the truth, the truth with actually legitimate arithmetic, would imply that either taxes are going to have to go up for the middle class or you're going to have a larger budget deficit, and you're going to be closing a lot of loopholes that people care about. so it's politics as usual and it's extremely unfort na in this climate. >> we have had a further embellish frment mr. ryan today. on a radio program he said he didn't want to explain the math and i'm quoting him, because he was afraid people would change the channel. is he -- sorry, jared, to point this out, but is he now saying voters simply don't care about the smshs, they're not interested, they're bored by the details? >> look, he's just trying to dance his way -- look, i'm not the one to makes these decisions, martin, but we have a tv station here and i think we would give mr. ryan all the time he needed to explain his math.
so, frankly, i think we should invite him to come here. we're not worried about the channel. we're interested in clear politics. so come on, explain the arithmetic, we will listen to you. >> good luck with that, jared. we've been asking for about a year. jared bernstein, thank you so much for joining us. >> sure. next, we get close to the president's desert retreat as he prepares for wednesday night's debate. stay with us. [ male announcer ] how do you trade? with scottrader streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating?
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it's been said that mitt romney's preparations for this week's debate have taken more time than the construction of the pyramids in egypt, and according to "the new york times" he's not been focusing on policy but, instead, has been practicing zingers or snappy one-liners that he hopes will slay his opponent. as you might expect, the president appears to be ready. >> i know folks in the media are speculating already on who is going to have the best zingers.
governor romney, he's a good debater. i'm just okay. >> nbc's chris tin welker is live and joins us from las vegas not far from henderson, nevada, where the president is preparing for wednesday night. good afternoon, kristin. the last time i heard such a chorus of lowering expectations was when pinklynn thomas got into the ring with tyson only for tyson to land a flurry of 16 punches. is this more about avoiding embarrassment as opposed to landing a killer blow? >> reporter: well, i think it is, martin. i think you're absolutely right. one more point about mike tyson though, it was right here in las vegas that he did some serious damage to evander holyfield's ear. so i think we're hoping wednesday night's debate doesn't get that ugly. but i think you're right. i think both candidates are really hoping to just walk away from wednesday night unscathed, and that will look like a victory for each of them.
on mitt romney's part, his advisers say he has to get more specific about his economic policy. that's what voters want to hear. as you say, he has been preparing really for months now sparring with senator rob portman standing in as president obama. for president obama's part, he has got to explain to voters why he deserves another four years when the economic -- the unemployment rate, remember, is still above 8%. so that is his challenge. he is here preparing in henderson, nevada, and i can tell you advisers say his big goal is really to give sharper, crisper answers and to not come off as too professorial. >> one man who isn't afraid to raise expectations is new jersey governor chris christie who says we will wake up on thursday morning with the race turned upside down, but given the very latest polling, particularly in the swing states k a single debate really swing things in the way mr. christie suggests? >> reporter: well, martin, i think if you talk to political analysts and also advisers on both sides, they say that this
idea that one debate is going to be a game changer just simply isn't the case. in fact, our colleague john harwood had a great article about this in "the new york times" where he points out there are really few debates in history that have done that. one was the debate between nixon and kennedy. it was televised. kennedy came off as being much smoother, more likesable. that's an example of how high the stakes would have to be for there to be a real game-changer. i think what you're going to see more likely is viewers watching these debates in the aggregate. they're all very close together. and advisers are saying they're expecting the polls to get tighter as we get closer to election day barring any major misstep from either candidate. martin. >> nbc's krit tin welker, from politics to pugilism, you are there. thank you so much, kristin. >> reporter: thanks, martin. we'll be right back. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
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at the beginning of a busy political week we're pleased to announce one congressional staffer will soon be back at work after a small problem. 25-year-old christian labella who wab working tirelessly for john shimkus was involved in a minor altercation with a 26-year-old actress here in new york. thankfully all the charges have been dropped and he's entirely exonerated of any wrongdoing. he apparently managed to secure valuable time with herman cain but never once did they discuss any shared experiences of sexual harassment. however, his real coup has been to spend time with a man who doesn't have time to explain his taxation plan, vice presidential candidate paul ryan. he's been rubbing shoulders with republicanal royalty for some
time. when he was a student he managed the remarkable feat of securing the support of one well-known governor. >> hello, i'm governor sarah palin from the great state of alaska, and i'm so excited today to endorse my good friend christian "the maverick quths "la bella for president of alpha kappa sigh. >> that was mr. laugh bela's aunt playing the really. proud and thrusting young gun of the republican congressional staffers with not a stain on his reputation. but just imagine if christian labella had been working for a democrat ink congressman. imagine the uproar if a single photograph appeared of this young man alongside, say, vice president joe biden. speaking of which, here is what mr. labella's friend, paul ryan, says about the issue of media prejudice. >> i think it goes without saying that there's definitely a media bias. look, i'm a conservative, chris.